The firecrackers makers of Assam's Barpeta district have a long legacy and the crackers manufactured here are widely regarded as the best in the state.
Such is its popularity that even people from the neighbouring states like Meghalaya, West Bengal, and Sikkim visit the district to buy a handful for celebrating the new year, marriages and other festivities.
However, the government notification on the bursting of firecrackers for limited hours on the day of Diwali and the COVID-19-induced lockdown brought life to a standstill for most of these firecracker makers.
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From nill to extremely less business, these firecracker makers have witnessed hard times in the last couple of years, but they are hopeful that 2021 might be different from the years gone by.
"The COVID-19 pandemic brought the firecracker making business almost to a standstill and the people involved with the business have suffered a lot, especially in 2020," said a local speaking to this correspondent.
"As the government has allowed bursting of crackers following specific restrictions, we are hopeful that this time there will be some business," he added.
"Making attractive firework is an aged old tradition of the people of Barpeta. Since 1885 this tradition is continuing and generations after generations have been actively involved in this traditional business," said Rita Mani Baishya to this correspondent.
"The fireworks that we produce are more emphasised on light than sound. We are aware of sound pollution. We are hopeful that this year the business will witness some boom," Baishya was quick to add.
It may be mentioned here that in 2019, the Barpeta firecrackers industry sent firecrackers worth nearly Rs 1.20 crore to the Guwahati market.
Firecrackers manufacturers from Bapeta used to send their products to Bihar, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir.
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